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weekly e-newsletter #3 - April 2, 2010
In the News - the Executive Order against Abortion Funding in the U.S.
Passions are running high after an intense struggle over the health care reform bill recently enacted. Some believe the Executive Order is inadequate and, based on the courts' past behavior, will lead to abortion funding. Others believe that the Order will have the desired effect. According to Rep. Bart Stupak, who negotiated for it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the votes to pass the bill without the pro-life Democrat bloc, although some of those came from electorally vulnerable districts and were allowed to vote no if their yes vote was not needed. Had Stupak and his allies held out for the best wording, prolife concerns would have been marginalized and the bill would have passed anyway. Instead, we got a public-relations bonanza as anti-abortion Democrats were portrayed in the media as powerful people who after gaining concessions saved the bill (see the up arrow for Stupak in Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom Watch). The argument focused on whether the bill did ban federal funding of abortion, not whether it should – that at least is progress.
One Perspective: Legal Analysis that Executive Order is Inadequate
Another Perspective: Bart Stupak Explains in the Washington Post
In the News – Nuclear Weapons Treaty
In another example of legal events that, while inadequate to the problem, nevertheless constitute progress where every little bit helps, the United States and Russia have signed a treaty to slightly reduce nuclear weapons. Reports of a 30% reduction are based on the numbers at the time of the last treaty, not current numbers. Still, gradual reductions have resulted in a substantial drop — good news — although both countries are left with enough weapons to commit mass murder at a moment's notice (or by accident). But moving in the right direction is encouraging and shows that our actions can be effective.
Published Letter to the Editor
The Nation, a left-wing and strongly abortion-defending publication, published a letter from Sharon Long in their April 5, 2010 issue. Part of it says: Abortion violates the basic tenets of feminism: nonviolence, non-discrimination and justice for all. . . . I became a prolife feminist thirty years ago when, as a foreign student in Costa Rica, I heard liberation theology speakers say that abortion does nothing to solve any social problem or change any social or economic relations. What it does do is help maintain the economic, political, and social status quo. Our society has largely lost its sympathy for unmarried single mothers, saying 'It's her choice, then why should I have to pay for it?' Abortion has become both a symptom and a symbol of alienation in the society and the culture.
Consistent Life had an advertisement for its book, Consistently Opposing Killing, in the program of the conference for the American Psychological Association's Division 36, the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Director of our research arm, Rachel MacNair, also presented on our survey showing that people who already oppose one type of violence rate the consistent life ethic as a persuasive argument to oppose other component issues that they had not previously opposed. The APA holds an abortion-as-civil-right position, so advocacy in one of its divisions is a strategic place for us to be.
Quotation of the Week
Richard A. Viguerie, conservative activist
Conservatives Betrayed (Bonus Books), 2006
Conservatives have every reason to believe the death penalty system is no different from any politicized, costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation, which we conservatives know are rife with injustice . . . support for [capital punishment] undermines our arguments against abortion, euthanasia, and related practices.